Emerging Adults: A Closer Look
Steve Cable — "Emerging adults" is a term coined by sociologists to
capture the new reality of 18- to 30-year-old Americans who have not fully
assumed the responsibilities of classic adulthood. In previous articles, we
looked at disturbing information on the beliefs of emerging adults in America
from surveys by Christian Smith of Notre Dame, by Probe Ministries, and by
others. In them, we found clear evidence of accelerating erosion in accepting
and adhering to basic biblical truths for living, even among those who were
born again. Our emerging cultural milieu of pop post-modernism is clearly
taking many young adult Christians captive to the "philosophies of men" (Col.
2:8). Here we will take a closer look at the erosion of belief in several
Christian Smith and his fellow
researchers at Notre Dame published an initial book, Souls in Transition,
covering the results of their 2008 survey of the religious beliefs and actions
of emerging adults from age 18 through 23. We discussed their findings in two
earlier articles: Emerging Adults and the Future of Faith in America,
and Emerging Adults Part 2: Distinctly Different Faiths. Their deep
distress over some of the results of their surveys and interviews led them to
publish a follow-up book in 2011 entitled Lost in Transition: The Dark Side
of Emerging Adulthood. In this book, they focus on five specific areas of
concern identified by their earlier research:
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|MEET THE AUTHOR
"Researcher Christian Smith is very concerned about trends he has uncovered among our young adults including moral aimlessness, materialistic consumerism and trouble from sexually liberated living. As I outline these concerns, you will be too."
Steve is Senior Vice President with Probe. Prior to joining us, Steve spent over 25 years in the telecommunications industry. He has extensive, practical experience applying a Christian worldview to the dynamic, competitive high-tech world that is rapidly becoming a dominant aspect of our society.
Emerging Adults and the Future of Faith in America
Steve unpacks some of the findings and implications of Christian Smith's longitudinal National Study of Youth and Religion. Though 18- to 23-year-olds see religion as only marginally important at best, a minority of personally devoted youth see real change.
Emerging Adults Part 2: Distinctly Different Faiths
Steve offers evidence that 18-to 23-year-olds have a grave disconnect between religious and cultural beliefs and practices.
The Importance of Parents in the Faith of Emerging Adults: The State of Born Again Emerging Adults
Steve explores the results of Probe's survey of 18- to 40-year-old born agains, focusing on the role of parents in their faith.